SEWARD, Neb. – At this point in time, the Concordia University men’s basketball team doesn’t have the firepower to keep up with No. 17 Dakota Wesleyan. The visiting Tigers vanquished the Bulldogs, 80-53, behind their torrid 50 percent shooting from behind the arc on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 17).
The loss meant that fifth-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad missed out on an opportunity to finish the regular season with a .500 league record. The Bulldogs slotted in sixth in the GPAC while going 17-12 overall and 8-10 in conference action.
“They’re a good team. They execute well and they share the ball,” Limback said. “We weren’t able to execute offensively. That’s something we have to get better at. We didn’t make shots either which really hurt us in the first half.”
The Tigers (21-9, 11-7 GPAC) jetted out to a 19-6 lead and never looked back. Collin Kramer enjoyed a big first half while far exceeding his season scoring average (6.5 ppg). He went off for all 17 of his points over the first 20 minutes while helping stake Dakota Wesleyan to an 18-point advantage at the break. It didn’t get much better over the final 20 minutes.
The 3-point shooting performances told the story of the game. The Tigers went 14-for-28 from long range while Concordia went just 5-for-30 (.167). The Tigers put six different players in double figures in scoring and five of them knocked down at least two 3-point field goals. The efficient Dakota Wesleyan team also turned the ball over only five times.
On the bright side, sophomore Clay Reimers pushed his GPAC high double-double total to 10 by piling up 17 points and 12 rebounds. He also swatted six Tiger shots. The only other Bulldog to reach 10 or more points was Cordell Gillingham (11). Concordia shot 35.0 percent (21-for-60) overall and 30.0 percent when taking Reimers out of the equation.
Chris Johnstone and Kyle Pierce were recognized prior to tipoff. Both players played the final regular-season home game of their career on Saturday.
As the No. 6 seed, the Bulldogs will be headed to third-seeded Northwestern (23-5, 13-5 GPAC) for a GPAC tournament quarterfinal matchup in Orange City, Iowa. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT on Wednesday (Feb. 21) in what will be the third meeting of the season between the two sides. With the help of a combined 88 points from star Colton Kooima, the Red Raiders swept two-regular season contests from Concordia.
Said Limback, “We have to come out and defend on the road. We have to defend their two scorers and also rebound, which is a key against Northwestern. Offensively, we have to have guys who are confident and ready to go.”